2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills QB Manuel gets crash course in facing blitz

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-25 17:57

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Whether it's handling opposing pass rushers on the field, and questions off it, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is suddenly having a hard time escaping the blitz.

Since spending much of last weekend flat on his back, Manuel was back on his feet Wednesday, feeling better prepared in facing pressure after spending the past two days working on it in practice.

The extra work became necessary in light of Manuel's struggles in a 27-20 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. When he wasn't being sacked eight times, Manuel was sailing desperation passes out of bounds.

``Yeah, I'm a lot more prepared,'' Manuel said. ``I learned a lot from that game and the mistakes I made.''

The Bills' defense went after him in practice Wednesday. And Manuel spent part of his day off Tuesday working on his own in making quick, precise throws downfield.

The only thing missing was a 250-pound linebacker in his face.

``No, we didn't have that,'' Manuel said with a laugh. ``We couldn't simulate that one. But it was the best we could.''

Manuel is going to have to do much better with the Bills (1-2) preparing to face another attacking style defense on Sunday, when they host the Baltimore Ravens (2-1).

Against the Jets, Manuel at times looked rattled in completing 19 of 42 attempts for 243 yards and a touchdown. And he was particularly bad in third- or fourth-down situations.

Though he hit tight end Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown pass on third-and-6, Manuel was otherwise dreadful. On third or fourth down, he went 3 of 14 for 55 yards passing and was sacked twice.

``I felt like I should've been more composed,'' Manuel said. ``When they're bringing the house at you, it's a tough thing to deal with. But nonetheless, you have to deal with it. It's just a part of maturing in the position.''

Until that happens, he understands opposing defenses are going to take the same approach against him.

``I'm sure a lot more teams are going to try to amp it up a little bit, too,'' he said. ``So I think the biggest thing is showing that you can handle it, and that's when they'll stop doing the blitzes.''

Manuel's struggles came a week after he showed signs of his potential by rallying the Bills to a last-second 24-23 win over Carolina.

In taking a big step back against the Jets, Manuel showed the tell-tale signs of inconsistency encountered by most NFL rookies. And that's raised concerns among Bills players as to how long it might take Manuel to find his footing against the blitz.

``It's hard to say,'' center Eric Wood said. ``I think he'll rebound, though. Just working with him for the past few months, I think every time a challenge is presented, he's kind of stepped up.''

Running back C.J. Spiller offered a mixed response Wednesday.

He credited Manuel for having poise, but also added: ``We just have to do a better job of just calming him down.''

Not all of the blame should land on Manuel, because the Bills are experiencing difficulty maintaining drives whether they're running or passing.

Buffalo has converted just 14 of 45 third down chances. And more often than not, that's been the result of having difficulty gaining yards on first and second down.

Manuel's inconsistencies have come as no surprise to Jim Kelly, the Bills Hall of Fame quarterback.

``He's getting there. He's had some tough days, but what rookie hasn't?'' Kelly said.

``We all hope he'll turn out to be the quarterback we've been praying for,'' Kelly added. ``Great kid. Great work ethic. Time will only tell. But I'm one guy who is pulling for EJ Manuel.''

NOTES: Kelly spoke while attending a ceremony at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum honoring late teammate, center Kent Hull. ... CB Leodis McKelvin (right hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, and his status is uncertain for Sunday. ... DT Kyle Williams (right Achilles tendon), DE Mario Williams (left ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and RG Kraig Urbik (right knee) also did not practice but are expected to play.

---

AP Sports Writer David Brandt contributed from Jackson, Miss.

---

NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group